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Labor Contract, City Budget and Prop B Updates!

As the fiscal year winds down, we wanted to share updates with you regarding some key decisions the City Council made earlier this month.

Council Approves MEA Labor Agreement (MOU)

On June 8, the City Council approved the 2-year MOU that MEA members overwhelmingly ratified in May. The MOU goes into effect July 1.  Look for your initial 4% salary increase and additional discretionary leave to become effective that day.  Additional previously communicated general salary increases and special salary adjustments will also go into effect as agreed over the course of the 2-year agreement.  Copies of the MOU are being finalized and will soon be available both digitally and in a limited-edition printed form.  Enjoy your new MEA contract and the many well-deserved compensation improvements it includes!

Council Approves the FY22 City Budget 

On June 14, the City Council approved the FY22 City budget which included revisions to address MEA’s input and also laid the groundwork for future improvements for employees.  Two specific examples are the restoration of Library services and staffing, and the creation of the Office of Child and Youth Success.

Investing in our libraries is the right thing to do for all San Diegans. Our libraries are an unparalleled resource for residents.  MEA would like to express gratitude to the Mayor, Councilmembers, their staffs, and the leadership across many departments for working through the issues impacting City employees and, in turn, operations.

MEA also supported the creation of the Office of Child and Youth Success. The recent Pay Equity study highlighted disparities between employees with children and those without.  Families in San Diego will benefit from an office that helps increase access to affordable childcare and improves family friendly policies and benefits in all workplaces, including for the City’s own 10,000+ employees.

Council Takes First Step on Unwinding Prop B

In April, Ann Smith shared the news about the victory on Prop B and explained next steps in the process.

The process of unwinding the City’s Proposition B Charter amendments is now underway.  MEA agreed that a two-step legislative process made sense because we wanted to get the defined benefit pension plan re-opened to all new hires as soon as reasonably achievable and then focus on the more time-consuming complexities associated with existing active and withdrawn employees who had no prior employment with the City when hired on or after July 20, 2012, and thus were denied entry into the City’s defined benefit pension plan.

First of Two Legislative Steps Taken:  An Ordinance amending the San Diego Municipal Code to re-open the City’s defined benefit pension plan to ALL NEW HIRES on and after July 10, 2021 was approved by all the affected Unions once our “meet and confer” process over its terms had concluded.  The “first reading” of this Ordinance was conducted and approved on June 8, 2021, and the required “second reading” happened this week on June 22, 2021.  There is now a 30-day waiting period before the Ordinance takes effect but it will be retroactive to apply to all new hires on and after July 10, 2021.

Second of Two Legislative Steps Now Being Bargained: MEA and the other affected Unions are now involved in a meet and confer process with the City to determine what the second set of legislative steps will look like when undoing the unlawful effects of Prop B as to all existing or withdrawn Prop B-affected employees.  We certainly understand that YOU have many practical and policy-related questions and concerns – and, of course, the City and the other Unions do too.

Be assured that we will take the necessary time to get this “right” after having spent the past 10 years litigating and fighting for the opportunity to do just that.  Be aware that there are many complexities involved in this process – for example, whatever the outcome looks like, it must comply with the Court’s Judgment; it must comply with PERB’s Court-approved Remedial Orders; it must comply with the law which defines the “make whole” remedy we secured here; it must comply with the Internal Revenue Code which strictly regulates and limits certain aspects of how we amend both the Municipal Code (which is the SDCERS defined benefit plan document) and the Interim SPSP-H defined contribution plan in which Prop B-affected employees are currently enrolled.

Bottom line . . . please be patient!  We will cross the finish line soon enough but we intend to have all the “ducks are in a row” when we do.  We will keep you updated.

Have questions?  Need assistance?

Your MEA Labor Relations Officers are here for you!  Don’t hesitate to reach out to info@sdmea.org or 619-264-6632.